Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández says he has tested positive for coronavirus.
“Over the weekend I started to feel bad, and today they have diagnosed me with being infected with Covid-19,” Hernández said in a televised presidential address on Tuesday night.
The President added that he had mild symptoms and was receiving treatment. He said he would continue to carry out his presidential duties while in isolation and under observation.
He is the first president in Latin America to have tested positive for the virus.
Hernández’s wife, first lady Ana García de Hernández, and two presidential aides have also tested positive for the disease.
Hernández said his wife was asymptomatic at present. The first lady is self-isolating following her diagnosis.
“The President at all times maintained the preventive measures recommended by the health authorities, yet due to the nature of his work it wasn’t possible to to stay in total isolation,” according to a statement released by the presidential office Tuesday.
The statement urged Hondurans to continue following recommended coronavirus guidelines, including measures such as wearing masks and washing hands frequently.
The Honduran President is a controversial figure in the country.
In 2019 he faced calls to resign after his brother Juan Antonio Hernández Alvarado was found guilty of leading a major cocaine trafficking operation.
The President’s brother was accused during trial of using drug money “to impact Honduran presidential elections in 2009, 2013, and 2017.”
President Hernández has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
Alejandro Giammattei, President of neighboring Guatemala, said on Twitter that he was praying for Hernández and his wife.
“I raise my prayers for their fast recovery and express to you my consideration, respect and esteem,” Giammattei wrote.
The country has recorded at least 9,656 cases of the disease and 330 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Countries across Latin America have reported surging numbers of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
Natalie Gallón reported from Mexico City. Zamira Rahim wrote in London.